Although getting back to the ship on time is the golden rule for cruises, people might be surprised how often people are late back. A cruise guest has shared a warning for new passengers.
They said: “Time changes. You would be surprised how many folks don’t understand how time zones work.
“Or they have their ‘home time’ on their watch or phones and space it.”
A cruise ship might travel through multiple time zones on one voyage and guests will need to keep on top of them.
The ship may also operate under “ship time” to avoid confusion and this is usually the time guests are expected back at the boat.
Another guest said: “There are a shocking number of people out there who simply can’t get their hands around the concept of time zones.”
Most mobile phones will automatically change the times as they pass through time zones so guests may need to alter their own wristwatch.
Alternatively, they could set their watch to ship time to make sure they’re keeping on top of both times.
Some cruise lines also have a ship app where guests can keep track of the time zone the ship is operating under.
However, people could also be late back to the ship because they’ve underestimated how long it takes to get there.
One person said: “Two guys rented scooters and thought they accounted for enough time to get back.
“What they didn’t consider was the number of ships in port that day, and the impact that sometimes has on traffic on some of these islands.
“They made it just in time. I think they even said they could hear their names being called out over the PA system as they were running to the ship.”
It’s a good idea to leave an extra half an hour to get back to the ship as there could be a traffic jam or more ships than usual.
Ships can also be docked quite far from the port entrance and guests will need to account for the extra time needed.
Ports can be located far away from the city centre so guests will need to plan their day’s itinerary carefully.
One guest said: “I underestimated the distance inside the port one year in Stockholm. I was doing a flat out sprint for the ship.
“Never again. Now I generally plan to be back at the pier one hour before all aboard unless it’s a port I know.”
Another passenger added: “Not to mention those ports are long. I’m paranoid and plan to get back at least 30 minutes early.”
Guests will always be allowed back on the ship early and will be able to relax before other passengers get back.
If passengers are very worried, they could use ship excursions which are usually guaranteed to get back on time.
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